Turkish lira firms despite USA warning of more sanctions

Erdogan, Macron vow to foster trade ties: Turkish presidency

The US has threatened to levy more sanctions on Turkey if Ankara does not release an American Christian evangelical pastor held on terrorism charges.

USA stocks suffered their worst day in seven weeks after the move, and the lira gained 7 percent against the dollar.

The currency lost almost 40 percent against the dollar this year, driven by worries over President Erdogan's growing influence on the economy and his repeated calls for lower interest rates despite high inflation.

"President Trump's imposition of tariffs on steel and aluminum is about protecting American national security", the spokesperson said. But she added: "Turkey's economic problems - those are a part of a long-term trend, something of its own making and not the result of any actions the United States has taken".

The US leader authorised the implementation of sharp tariffs on imports of aluminium and steel from Turkey last Friday.

Qatar, backed by Erdogan during the Saudi-led embargoes on the emirate in 2017, on Wednesday pledged to channel $15 billion direct investment into Turkey, a sign of burgeoning ties between the two countries.

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"We have put sanctions on several of their cabinet members", said Mnuchin.

However, the currency market's reaction to his conference call - in which he also said Turkey had no plans to seek help from the International Monetary Fund or impose capital controls to stop money flowing overseas - was measured.

According to the Turkish presidential press office, Erdogan and al-Thani also exchanged views on bilateral relations and regional developments during their three-hour meeting. Two sources with knowledge told CNN that the move stemmed from Trump's frustration over Brunson's detention.

US Vice President Mike Pence also renewed his threats to Turkey on Wednesday, warning that he and Trump would "stand firm" until Brunson is released.

Erdogan has said Turkey is the target of an economic war, and has made repeated calls for Turks to sell their dollars and euros to shore up the currency. On Tuesday, he said Turkey would boycott US electronic products.

In another high-profile case, a Turkish court freed Taner Kilic, the local chair of Amnesty International, a researcher from the rights group said.

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